Airports, traditionally a federal responsibility, haven't seen an increase in its Airport Capital Assistance Program in decades, forcing airports to compete for limited dollars as costs rise to upgrade their facilities and implement safety-related projects.
The study recommends the fund be increased to $95 million a year to help airports meet their capital needs.
The study also recommends recapitalization of the Regional Air Transportation Initiative to support community airports not eligible for capital assistance programming.
“There’s more than 200 airports competing for the same funding that hasn’t even risen with inflation over that time and it’s getting more difficult to meet our capital needs with rising costs,” Bos said.
The study also recommends that the Ontario provincial government step up to the plate, as other provinces have done, and reintegrate the aviation fuel tax charge collected and give that money back to airports.
“Other provinces have recognized that airports are economic drivers for the province and for communities and have stepped forward to help with its aviation fuel tax,” Bos said. To date, Ontario has not done so.